Discrimination on Campus
As with anywhere, there is discrimination that happens on campus, as much as we would like to hope there is not. According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, discrimination includes elements of “not individually assessing the unique merits, capacities and circumstances of a person, instead, making stereotypical assumptions based on a person’s presumed traits, having the impact of excluding persons, denying benefits or imposing burdens”. Discrimination happens on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual identity and/or orientation, social status or ability. Your campus will likely have a student union that will provide an array of services that will cater to persons who are discriminated against, which could be a good starting point for learning more about those who are discriminated against. Everyone has come across some kind of discrimination over their life time- whether it was based on gender, race, class or orientation. The services provided by your school will also allow you to better understand why people discriminate against others. The people who bully and discriminate others often have many underlying problems and stresses that drive them to act the way they do. If you feel you are experiencing discrimination, whether in the classroom or on your own time, make sure you talk to your friends, family and people who will be able to help you like your student services or counsellors. College and university is a time to learn and grow personally and professionally and discrimination has no place on campus, anytime.